Feeds

SOCA 'faces axe'

'British FBI' to replace 'British FBI'

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

The Serious and Organised Crime Agency, created just four years ago and presented as Britain's answer to the FBI, is to be scrapped by coalition ministers, it's reported.

A Home Office consultation to be published today will propose replacing the secretive organisation with a National Crime Agency, which would include a new specialist border policing unit and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

The changes could mean a radical shake-up of how the internet is policed, although it's as yet unclear what would be substantially different about the National Crime Agency.

SOCA has responsibility for Britain's international collaborations on fighting cybercrime, which are crucial given that the majority of large scams originate overseas. It also acts as a central interception agency, tapping phones and the internet on behalf of police forces.

The restructuring would apparently also put paid to CEOP chief executive Jim Gamble's plans to take his organisation independent. It has so far been overseen by SOCA, but following lobbying the last government agreed to make it a non-departmental public body in its own right. Reports suggest that move is now off the agenda.

SOCA was itself created by the amalgamation of several existing police units in 2006, including the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit. It has since been repeatedly criticised for its excessive secrecy, and low conviction and criminal asset recovery rates.

Last month Britain's most senior policeman Sir Paul Stephenson criticised the lack of progress made on organised crime in recent years. He did however praise the Met's new Police Central e-Crime Unit, which has already had its small budget slashed by the Home Office.

The coalition's plans to do away with SOCA are due to be announced as part of the its policing strategy later today. The blueprint - "Policing in the 21st Century" - will also include proposals for directly-elected police commissioners and for the NPIA, the police IT quango, to be cut back. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.